Back to Work

by 5by5

Back to Work is an award winning talk show with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more. Hosted by Merlin Mann & Dan Benjamin.


Latest Episodes

535: Long-Term Play Value

DISCUSSED: Dan finally gets more three-six-five, and Merlin gets extremely deep in the stack. Also, just a little more calendar talk, including a model for deciding where something goes.

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Posted on 16 June 2021 | 1:00 am

534: Manga and Others

DISCUSSED: Merlin runs into some problems reporting live from the show floor; is social media making us as happy as we'd like to think?; thoughts on pro wrestlers and the films of John Carpenter; finding the triggers for action that you didn't know you needed; recommendations for videos and Firefox extensions; why we use the web browsers that we use; your hosts dive into their favorite announcements coming out of WWDC; how exactly do you decide where something should go?; Dan reveals he has become the third kind of calendar person; exploring the ineffable (but indisputably real) value of finding technologies and experiences that you actually enjoy; and, finally, Merlin shares a novel misunderstanding with a voice dingus.

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Posted on 9 June 2021 | 12:00 am

533: A Container for Your Future Plans

DISCUSSED: Part one of a deep dive into calendars.

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Posted on 1 June 2021 | 11:45 pm

532: That's Not My Ghost

DISCUSSED: Merlin is full of beans this week.

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Posted on 25 May 2021 | 7:00 pm

531: Where Grog Got Eaten

DISCUSSED: A classic, old-school “Odds ’n Sods” episode that includes: Apple’s audio upgrade announcement; AirTags and the promising future of UWB; lots of thoughts on anxiety; caffeine weaners; tongue-rolling; and a salt and pepper of media recently enjoyed (and now recommended).

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Posted on 18 May 2021 | 7:45 pm

530: Nouns in America

DISCUSSED: Merlin has been cracking nuts, and Dan is enjoying a beverage; in Follow-Up, Dan has made great progress with his new voice assistant; Merlin has thoughts on choosing a dingus ecosystem that’s right for you; words mean things, and often you want the right “procedure word”; Merlin has some good Back to Work-adjacent media recommendations; do we really want to rebuild The Embarcadero Freeway? Really?; and, Dan has some new scholarship on the films of Stanley Kubrick.

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Posted on 11 May 2021 | 10:00 pm

529: Different Flavors of Fear

DISCUSSED: Dan is actively gaslighting Merlin, and this can be proven; please stop stealing focus; praise for Ferris Bueller in general and the knees of Sloane Peterson in particular; passing thoughts on fear, procrastination, impostor syndrome, and solving the right problem; Merlin is delighted to discover a much-improved Little Snitch; Dan has thoughts on his Ford’s weird button; in gadget updates, Dan has found some useful headphones and has thoughts on trying to use his new Google dingus; finally, just in general, try to keep your hands away from the dragon’s mouth.

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Posted on 4 May 2021 | 8:45 pm

528: Half a Parachute

Merlin has a whole new setup, and Dan has a whole new TV.

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Posted on 27 April 2021 | 6:30 pm

527: Classic Mentos Situation

DISCUSSED: Merlin is reporting live from the show floor; sleep is complicated; food is complicated, too; Dan tries to build muscles the right way; he also has strong feelings about TV shopping; Merlin just wants someone to tell him which is The Good One.

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Posted on 20 April 2021 | 8:00 pm